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Boys: St. Joseph ends up with big move to No. 4 (By Mark Tennis)
With previous top 10 teams Sacred Heart Cathedral, St. Francis and Riordan all starting out the West Catholic Athletic League with at least one loss and due to handing El Cerrito its first loss, veteran coach Don Lippi and his team at St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda have jumped from No. 13 to No. 4 in this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area top 20 rankings.
El Cerrito, which was No. 4 in last week’s rankings, only dropped one spot after the loss to the Pilots. Since it was just their first loss, in some previous rankings, the Gauchos might not have dropped at all. But with St. Joseph Notre Dame also owning a recent win over No. 6 St. Ignatius, the Pilots were placed one spot higher due to last week’s win.
The other big movers are Serra of San Mateo, which opened the WCAL schedule with wins over Riordan and St. Francis, and St. Patrick/St. Vincent of Vallejo, which might have gone up even higher than No. 11 if not for losing to El Cerrito in a bounce-back win by the Gauchos after their loss to St. Joseph Notre Dame.
Here are this week’s Bay Area boys’ top 20 (previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, Jan. 11):
1. (1) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 7-4
2. (2) Monte Vista (Danville) 14-0
3. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 10-2
4. (13) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 13-3
5. (4) El Cerrito 15-1
6. (10) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 9-2
7. (5) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 9-2
8. (NR) Serra (San Mateo) 9-3
9. (14) De La Salle (Concord) 9-3
10. (11) Campolindo (Moraga) 11-4
11. (NR) St. Patrick/St. Vincent (Vallejo) 14-2
12. (6) St. Francis (Mountain View) 10-2
13. (8) Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 7-5
14. (7) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 12-2
15. (15) Leigh (San Jose) 12-1
16. (19) Berkeley 11-0
17. (16) Drake (San Anselmo) 13-3
18. (18) Freedom (Oakley) 11-4
19. (12) Castro Valley 9-4
20. (NR) Newark Memorial (Newark) 7-7
Dropped Out: Previous No. 9 Salesian (Richmond); No. 17 Burlingame; No. 20 Mills (Millbrae).
Teams On The Bubble: Aragon (San Mateo) 9-5, Branson (Ross) 13-3, Burlingame 11-3, College Park (Pleasant Hill) 8-3, Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 10-4, Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 11-2; Salesian (Richmond) 9-6, San Benito (Hollister) 12-1, San Leandro 7-6.
Girls: O’Dowd beats Salesian and goes up to No. 3 (By Harold Abend)
Despite not having two key players in uniform and playing with a different starting five until the last two games, Bishop O’Dowd is still a major factor and showed it in a close loss to Long Beach Poly at the Holiday Hoops Classic.
Now, with sophomore St. Mary’s transfer Salihah Bey eligible, and fellow sophomore Daniela Williams cleared to play in January after falling off a ladder, the young Dragons are humming.
Against Poly, in a 60-50 loss, they trailed 55-50 but missed free throws and a couple of turnovers meant head coach Malik McCord had to foul and the Dragons couldn’t pull it out.
That wasn’t the case on Saturday night in a 60-56 win on the road at Salesian of Richmond.
Aisia Robertson, who was out in a close loss to Lynwood, was assigned to guard Salesian star and Louisville-bound Mariya Moore. When Robertson fouled out, McCord turned to Bey, and the 5-foot-10 guard that McCord descries as “long” helped corral Moore who was leading a comeback from a 10-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter.
O’Dowd’s floor general Asha Thomas led all scorers with 26 points (four rebounds, four assists), while Williams and freshman Maya Pace led the Dragons with six rebounds.
As usual, Moore filled the stat sheet with 24 points, nine steals, eight assists and six rebounds.
“Now that we have everyone playing together we’re finally finding our rhythm,” McCord told Cal-Hi Sports.
Meanwhile Carondelet made another statement with an impressive 79-51 victory over Archbishop Mitty on the road in San Jose. Loyola Marymount-bound Makenzie Cast led the way with 22 points on five three-pointers. Nebraska-bound Natalie Romeo and Gabi Grupalo added 19 and 15 points, respectively.
Here are this week’s Bay Area girls’ top 20 (previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, Jan. 11):
(*Forfeits not included)
1. (1) St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 10-2
2. (2) Carondelet (Concord) 10-2
3. (4) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 10-3
4. (3) Salesian (Richmond) 10-5
5. (5) Miramonte (Orinda) 13-0
6. (6) St. Ignatius (San Francisco) 12-1
7. (7) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 8-5
8. (8) Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 7-5
9. (9) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 12-1
10. (10) Berkeley 8-4
11. (11) Santa Rosa 12-1
12. (12) Monte Vista (Danville) 13-0
13. (13) Deer Valley (Antioch) 9-4
14. (14)Wilcox (Santa Clara) 11-1
15. (16) Lynbrook (San Jose) 9-4
16. (17) Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 12-2
17. (18) Scotts Valley 11-3
18. (19) St. Francis (Mountain View) 8-5
19. (NR) Piedmont 9-3
20. (20) Valley Christian (Dublin) 11-2
Dropped Out: Previous No. 15 Eastside College Prep (East Palo Alto).
Teams On the Bubble: Alameda 8-4, Castro Valley 10-3, Clayton Valley (Concord) 9-4, Eastside College Prep (East Palo Alto) 8-6, Galileo (San Francisco) 12-3, Justin-Siena (Napa) 12-3, North Salinas (Salinas) 11-2, Northgate (Walnut Creek) 12-3, Pittsburg 11-4, Presentation (San Jose) 8-4, Skyline (Oakland) 8-5, Valley Christian (San Jose) 10-2, Windsor 11-3.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend